Toru Jojima

Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kioto, Kyōto, Japan

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Publications (18)65.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Reinforcing microbial thermotolerance is a strategy to enable fermentation with flexible temperature settings and thereby to save cooling costs. Here, we report on adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) of the amino acid-producing bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum under thermal stress. After 65 days of serial passage of the transgenic strain GLY3, in which the glycolytic pathway is optimized for alanine production under oxygen deprivation, three strains adapted to supraoptimal temperatures were isolated, and all mutations they acquired were identified by whole-genome re-sequencing. Of the 21 mutations common to the three strains, one large deletion and two missense mutations were found to promote growth of the parental strain under thermal stress. Additive effects on thermotolerance were observed among these mutations, and the combination of the deletion with the missense mutation on otsA, encoding a trehalose-6-phosphate synthase, allowed the parental strain to overcome the upper limit of growth temperature. Surprisingly, the three evolved strains acquired cross-tolerance to isobutanol, which turned out to be partly attributable to the genomic deletion associated with the enhanced thermotolerance. The deletion involved loss of two transgenes pfk and pyk, encoding the glycolytic enzymes, in addition to six native genes, and elimination of these transgenes but not the native genes was shown to account for the positive effects on thermal and solvent stress tolerance, implying a link between energy-producing metabolism and bacterial stress tolerance. Overall, the present study provides evidence that ALE can be a powerful tool to refine the phenotype of C. glutamicum and investigate molecular bases of stress tolerance. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 01/2015; 81(7). DOI:10.1128/AEM.03973-14 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum harboring genes for pyruvate decarboxylase (pdc) and alcohol dehydrogenase (adhB) can produce ethanol under oxygen deprivation. We investigated the effects of elevating the expression levels of glycolytic genes, as well as pdc and adhB, on ethanol production. Overexpression of four glycolytic genes (pgi, pfkA, gapA, and pyk) in C. glutamicum significantly increased the rate of ethanol production. Overexpression of tpi, encoding triosephosphate isomerase, further enhanced productivity. Elevated expression of pdc and adhB increased ethanol yield, but not the rate of production. Fed-batch fermentation using an optimized strain resulted in ethanol production of 119 g/L from 245 g/L glucose with a yield of 95 % of the theoretical maximum. Further metabolic engineering, including integration of the genes for xylose and arabinose metabolism, enabled consumption of glucose, xylose, and arabinose, and ethanol production (83 g/L) at a yield of 90 %. This study demonstrated that C. glutamicum has significant potential for the production of cellulosic ethanol.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00253-014-6223-4 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum can consume glucose to excrete glycerol under oxygen deprivation. Although glycerol synthesis from 1,3-dihydroxyacetone (DHA) has been speculated, no direct evidence has yet been provided in C. glutamicum. Enzymatic and genetic investigations here indicate that the glycerol is largely produced from DHA and, unexpectedly, the reaction is catalyzed by (S,S)-butanediol dehydrogenase (ButA) that inherently catalyzes the interconversion between S-acetoin and (S,S)-2,3-butanediol. Consequently, the following pathway for glycerol biosynthesis in the bacterium emerges: dihydroxyacetone phosphate is dephosphorylated by HdpA to DHA, which is subsequently reduced to glycerol by ButA. This study emphasizes the importance of promiscuous activity of the enzyme in vivo.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00253-014-6170-0 · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • Biorefineries: Integrated Biochemical Processes for Liquid Biofuels, 1 edited by Nasib Qureshi, David Hodge, Alain A Vertès, 08/2014: chapter 6: pages 121-139; Elsevier., ISBN: 978-0-444-59498-3
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated efficient l-valine production by metabolically engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum under oxygen deprivation. To achieve the high productivity, a NADH/NADPH cofactor imbalance during the synthesis of l-valine was overcome by engineering NAD-preferring mutant acetohydroxyacid isomeroreductase (AHAIR) and using NAD-specific leucine dehydrogenase from Lysinibacillus sphaericus. Lactate as a by-product was largely eliminated by disrupting the lactate dehydrogenase gene ldhA. Nonetheless a few other by-products, particularly succinate, were still produced and acted to suppress the l-valine yield. Eliminating these by-products therefore was deemed key to improving the l-valine yield. By additionally disrupting the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene ppc, succinate production was effectively suppressed, but both glucose consumption and l-valine production dropped considerably due to the severely elevated intracellular NADH/NAD(+) ratio. In contrast, this perturbed intracellular redox state was more than compensated for by deletion of three genes associated with NADH-producing acetate synthesis and overexpression of five glycolytic genes including gapA encoding NADH-inhibited glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Substituting with feedback-resistant mutant acetohydroxyacid synthase and NAD-preferring mutant AHAIR in the chromosome resulted in higher l-valine yield and productivity. Deleting the alanine transaminase gene avtA suppressed alanine production. The resultant strain produced 1,280 mM of l-valine at a yield of 88% mol mol of glucose(-1) after 24 h under oxygen deprivation, a vastly improved yield over our previous best.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 12/2012; DOI:10.1128/AEM.02806-12 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum produces 1,3-dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as metabolite of sugar catabolism but the responsible enzyme is yet to be identified. Using a transposon mutant library, the gene hdpA (cgR_2128) was shown to encode a haloacid dehalogenase superfamily member that catalyzes dephosphorylation of dihydroxyacetone phosphate to produce DHA. Inactivation of hdpA led to a drastic decrease in DHA production from each of glucose, fructose, and sucrose, indicating that HdpA is the main enzyme responsible for DHA production from sugars in C. glutamicum. Confirmation of DHA production via dihydroxyacetone phosphatase finally confirms a long-speculated route through which bacteria produce DHA.
    FEBS letters 10/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2012.10.028 · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that Corynebacterium glutamicum strain ΔldhAΔppc+alaD+gapA, overexpressing glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase-encoding gapA, shows significantly improved glucose consumption and alanine formation under oxygen deprivation conditions (T. Jojima, M. Fujii, E. Mori, M. Inui, and H. Yukawa, Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 87:159-165, 2010). In this study, we employ stepwise overexpression and chromosomal integration of a total of four genes encoding glycolytic enzymes (herein referred to as glycolytic genes) to demonstrate further successive improvements in C. glutamicum glucose metabolism under oxygen deprivation. In addition to gapA, overexpressing pyruvate kinase-encoding pyk and phosphofructokinase-encoding pfk enabled strain GLY2/pCRD500 to realize respective 13% and 20% improved rates of glucose consumption and alanine formation compared to GLY1/pCRD500. Subsequent overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate isomerase-encoding gpi in strain GLY3/pCRD500 further improved its glucose metabolism. Notably, both alanine productivity and yield increased after each overexpression step. After 48 h of incubation, GLY3/pCRD500 produced 2,430 mM alanine at a yield of 91.8%. This was 6.4-fold higher productivity than that of the wild-type strain. Intracellular metabolite analysis showed that gapA overexpression led to a decreased concentration of metabolites upstream of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, suggesting that the overexpression resolved a bottleneck in glycolysis. Changing ratios of the extracellular metabolites by overexpression of glycolytic genes resulted in reduction of the intracellular NADH/NAD(+) ratio, which also plays an important role on the improvement of glucose consumption. Enhanced alanine dehydrogenase activity using a high-copy-number plasmid further accelerated the overall alanine productivity. Increase in glycolytic enzyme activities is a promising approach to make drastic progress in growth-arrested bioprocesses.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 04/2012; 78(12):4447-57. DOI:10.1128/AEM.07998-11 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Production of L-valine under oxygen deprivation conditions by Corynebacterium glutamicum lacking the lactate dehydrogenase gene ldhA and overexpressing the L-valine biosynthesis genes ilvBNCDE was repressed. This was attributed to imbalanced cofactor production and consumption in the overall L-valine synthesis pathway: two moles of NADH was generated and two moles of NADPH was consumed per mole of L-valine produced from one mole of glucose. In order to solve this cofactor imbalance, the coenzyme requirement for L-valine synthesis was converted from NADPH to NADH via modification of acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase encoded by ilvC and introduction of Lysinibacillus sphaericus leucine dehydrogenase in place of endogenous transaminase B, encoded by ilvE. The intracellular NADH/NAD(+) ratio significantly decreased, and glucose consumption and L-valine production drastically improved. Moreover, L-valine yield increased and succinate formation decreased concomitantly with the decreased intracellular redox state. These observations suggest that the intracellular NADH/NAD(+) ratio, i.e., reoxidation of NADH, is the primary rate-limiting factor for L-valine production under oxygen deprivation conditions. The L-valine productivity and yield were even better and by-products derived from pyruvate further decreased as a result of a feedback resistance-inducing mutation in the acetohydroxy acid synthase encoded by ilvBN. The resultant strain produced 1,470 mM L-valine after 24 h with a yield of 0.63 mol mol of glucose(-1), and the L-valine productivity reached 1,940 mM after 48 h.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 12/2011; 78(3):865-75. DOI:10.1128/AEM.07056-11 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum was genetically engineered to produce L-alanine from sugar under oxygen deprivation. The genes associated with production of organic acids in C. glutamicum were inactivated and the alanine dehydrogenase gene (alaD) from Lysinibacillus sphaericus was overexpressed to direct carbon flux from organic acids to alanine. Although the alaD-expressing strain produced alanine from glucose under oxygen deprivation, its productivity was relatively low due to retarded glucose consumption. Homologous overexpression of the gapA gene encoding glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in the alaD-expressing strain stimulated glucose consumption and consequently improved alanine productivity. In contrast gapA overexpression did not affect glucose consumption under aerobic conditions, indicating that oxygen deprivation engendered inefficient regeneration of NAD+ resulting in impaired GAPDH activity and reduced glucose consumption in the alanine-producing strains. Inactivation of the alanine racemase gene allowed production of L-alanine with optical purity greater than 99.5%. The resulting strain produced 98 g l(-1) of L-alanine after 32 h in mineral salts medium. Our results show promise for amino acid production under oxygen deprivation.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/2010; 87(1):159-65. DOI:10.1007/s00253-010-2493-7 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wild-type Corynebacterium glutamicum produced 0.6 g l(-1) xylitol from xylose at a productivity of 0.01 g l(-1) h(-1) under oxygen deprivation. To increase this productivity, the pentose transporter gene (araE) from C. glutamicum ATCC31831 was integrated into the C. glutamicum R chromosome. Consequent disruption of its lactate dehydrogenase gene (ldhA), and expression of single-site mutant xylose reductase from Candida tenuis (CtXR (K274R)) resulted in recombinant C. glutamicum strain CtXR4 that produced 26.5 g l(-1) xylitol at 3.1 g l(-1) h(-1). To eliminate possible formation of toxic intracellular xylitol phosphate, genes encoding xylulokinase (XylB) and phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent fructose phosphotransferase (PTS(fru)) were disrupted to yield strain CtXR7. The productivity of strain CtXR7 increased 1.6-fold over that of strain CtXR4. A fed-batch 21-h CtXR7 culture in mineral salts medium under oxygen deprivation yielded 166 g l(-1) xylitol at 7.9 g l(-1) h(-1), representing the highest bacterial xylitol productivity reported to date.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 12/2009; 86(4):1057-66. DOI:10.1007/s00253-009-2372-2 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in production of transportation fuels and commodity chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass, most desirably through biological fermentation. Considerable effort has been expended to develop efficient biocatalysts that convert sugars derived from lignocellulose directly to value-added products. Glucose, the building block of cellulose, is the most suitable fermentation substrate for industrial microorganisms such as Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium glutamicum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Other sugars including xylose, arabinose, mannose, and galactose that comprise hemicellulose are generally less efficient substrates in terms of productivity and yield. Although metabolic engineering including introduction of functional pentose-metabolizing pathways into pentose-incompetent microorganisms has provided steady progress in pentose utilization, further improvements in sugar mixture utilization by microorganisms is necessary. Among a variety of issues on utilization of sugar mixtures by the microorganisms, recent studies have started to reveal the importance of sugar transporters in microbial fermentation performance. In this article, we review current knowledge on diversity and functions of sugar transporters, especially those associated with pentose uptake in microorganisms. Subsequently, we review and discuss recent studies on engineering of sugar transport as a driving force for efficient bioconversion of sugar mixtures derived from lignocellulose.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 10/2009; 85(3):471-80. DOI:10.1007/s00253-009-2292-1 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum strains CRA1 and CRX2 are able to grow on L-arabinose and D-xylose, respectively, as sole carbon sources. Nevertheless, they exhibit the major shortcoming that their sugar consumption appreciably declines at lower concentrations of these substrates. To address this, the C. glutamicum ATCC31831 L-arabinose transporter gene, araE, was independently integrated into both strains. Unlike its parental strain, resultant CRA1-araE was able to aerobically grow at low (3.6 g.l(-1)) L-arabinose concentrations. Interestingly, strain CRX2-araE grew 2.9-fold faster than parental CRX2 at low (3.6 g.l(-1)) D-xylose concentrations. The corresponding substrate consumption rates of CRA1-araE and CRX2-araE under oxygen-deprived conditions were 2.8- and 2.7-fold, respectively, higher than those of their respective parental strains. Moreover, CRA1-araE and CRX2-araE utilized their respective substrates simultaneously with D-glucose under both aerobic and oxygen-deprived conditions. Based on these observations, a platform strain, ACX-araE, for C. glutamicum-based mixed sugar utilization was designed. It harbored araBAD for L-arabinose metabolism, xylAB for D-xylose metabolism, D-cellobiose permease-encoding bglF317A, beta-glucosidase-encoding bglA and araE in its chromosomal DNA. In mineral medium containing a sugar mixture of D-glucose, D-xylose, L-arabinose, and D-cellobiose under oxygen-deprived conditions, strain ACX-araE simultaneously and completely consumed all sugars.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 07/2009; 85(1):105-15. DOI:10.1007/s00253-009-2065-x · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A Corynebacterium glutamicum strain (DeltaldhA-pCRA717) that overexpresses the pyc gene encoding pyruvate carboxylase while simultaneously exhibiting a disrupted ldhA gene encoding L-lactate dehydrogenase was investigated in detail for succinic acid production. Succinic acid was shown to be efficiently produced at high-cell density under oxygen deprivation with intermittent addition of sodium bicarbonate and glucose. Succinic acid concentration reached 1.24 M (146 g l(-1)) within 46 h. The yields of succinic acid and acetic acid from glucose were 1.40 mol mol(-1) (0.92 g g(-1)) and 0.29 mol mol(-1) (0.10 g g(-1)), respectively. The succinic acid production rate and yield depended on medium bicarbonate concentration rather than glucose concentration. Consumption of bicarbonate accompanied with succinic acid production implied that added bicarbonate was used for succinic acid synthesis.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 10/2008; 81(3):459-64. DOI:10.1007/s00253-008-1668-y · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum R was metabolically engineered to broaden its sugar utilization range to D-xylose and D-cellobiose contained in lignocellulose hydrolysates. The resultant recombinants expressed Escherichia coli xylA and xylB genes, encoding D-xylose isomerase and xylulokinase, respectively, for D-xylose utilization and expressed C. glutamicum R bglF317A and bglA genes, encoding phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) beta-glucoside-specific enzyme IIBCA component and phospho-beta-glucosidase, respectively, for D-cellobiose utilization. The genes were fused to the non-essential genomic regions distributed around the C. glutamicum R chromosome and were under the control of their respective constitutive promoter trc and tac that permitted their expression even in the presence of D-glucose. The enzyme activities of resulting recombinants increased with the increase in the number of respective integrated genes. Maximal sugar utilization was realized with strain X5C1 harboring five xylA-xylB clusters and one bglF317A-bglA cluster. In both D-cellobiose and D-xylose utilization, the sugar consumption rates by genomic DNA-integrated strain were faster than those by plasmid-bearing strain, respectively. In mineral medium containing 40 g l(-1) D-glucose, 20 g l(-1) D-xylose, and 10 g l(-1) D-cellobiose, strain X5C1 simultaneously and completely consumed these sugars within 12 h and produced predominantly lactic and succinic acids under growth-arrested conditions.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 10/2008; 81(4):691-9. DOI:10.1007/s00253-008-1703-z · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We isolated a target gene for the Lentinula edodes putative transcription factor Le.CDC5 that contains a c-Myb-type DNA-binding domain. The gene, termed ctg1, encodes a novel protein (159 amino acid residues) with a leucine zipper-like sequence and contains a 7-bp Le.CDC5-binding sequence, 5'GCAATCT3', in its transcribed region downstream of the start codon. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis strongly suggested that intracellular Le.CDC5 binds to this 7-bp sequence on L. edodes chromatin. Binding was most efficient on chromatin from the stipes of mature fruiting bodies. Two Le.CDC5-interaction partners were identified in L. edodes and named CIPA and CIPB. The CIPB protein (127 amino acid residues) binds to a 6-bp sequence with the consensus sequence 5'CAACAC/T/G3'. The ctg1 gene contains nine 6-bp consensus (or consensus-like) sequences, six are in the 5'-upstream region and three in the transcribed region downstream of the start codon. At least two each of the upstream and downstream sequences appear to bind CIPB in vitro. We suggest that Le.CDC5 and CIPB can cooperatively regulate the expression of ctg1.
    Fungal Genetics and Biology 07/2008; 45(6):818-28. DOI:10.1016/j.fgb.2008.02.007 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum R efficiently produces valuable chemicals from glucose under oxygen-deprived conditions. In an effort to reduce acetate as a byproduct, acetate productivity of several mutant-disrupted genes encoding possible key enzymes for acetate formation was determined. Disruption of the aceE gene that encodes the E1 enzyme of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex resulted in almost complete elimination of acetate formation under oxygen-deprived conditions, implying that acetate synthesis under these conditions was essentially via acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA). Simultaneous disruption of pta, encoding phosphotransacetylase, and ack, encoding acetate kinase, resulted in no measurable change in acetate productivity. A mutant strain with disruptions in pta, ack and as-yet uncharacterized gene (cgR2472) exhibited 65% reduced acetate productivity compared to the parental strain, although a single disruption of cgR2472 exhibited no effect on acetate productivity. The gene cgR2472 was shown to encode a CoA-transferase (CTF) that catalyzes the formation of acetate from acetyl-CoA. These results indicate that PTA-ACK as well as CTF is involved in acetate production in C. glutamicum. This study provided basic information to reduce acetate production under oxygen-deprived conditions.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/2008; 77(4):853-60. DOI:10.1007/s00253-007-1199-y · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A genetically engineered strain of Escherichia coli JM109 harboring the isopropanol-producing pathway consisting of five genes encoding four enzymes, thiolase, coenzyme A (CoA) transferase, acetoacetate decarboxylase from Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, and primary-secondary alcohol dehydrogenase from C. beijerinckii NRRL B593, produced up to 227 mM of isopropanol from glucose under aerobic fed-batch culture conditions. Acetate production by the engineered strain was approximately one sixth that produced by a control E. coli strain bearing an expression vector without the clostridial genes. These results demonstrate a functional isopropanol-producing pathway in E. coli and consequently carbon flux from acetyl-CoA directed to isopropanol instead of acetate. This is the first report on isopropanol production by genetically engineered microorganism under aerobic culture conditions.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 02/2008; 77(6):1219-24. DOI:10.1007/s00253-007-1246-8 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A cDNA homologue of Schizosaccharomyces pombe cdc5(+) was isolated from the basidiomycete mushroom Lentinula edodes and it was named Le.cdc5 cDNA. The deduced Le.CDC5 (842 amino acid residues) possessed N-terminal amino acid sequence highly homologous to those of S. pombe cdc5(+) gene product (Sp.cdc5p) and Sp.cdc5p-related proteins (SPCDC5RPs). The N-terminal 185 amino acid peptide of Le.CDC5 (Le.CDC5(1-185) peptide) produced in Escherichia coli was subjected to random binding-site selection analysis, revealing that Le.CDC5(1-185) peptide binds to a 7-bp sequence with the consensus sequence of 5'GCAATGT3' (complementary; 5'ACATTGC3'). Genomic binding-site (GBS) cloning by using Le.CDC5(1-185) peptide resulted in an isolation of the DNA fragment that contained three sets of 7-bp consensus-like sequence and TATA box. The Le.CDC5 protein contained two putative phosphorylation sites of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (A kinase) in its C-terminus. There exists a possible leucine zipper between the two phosphorylation sites. The Le.CDC5 fragment containing the two phosphorylation sites was actually phosphorylated by commercially available A kinase. Yeast two-hybrid analysis suggested the homodimerization of Le.CDC5 protein probably through the leucine zipper. Northern blot analysis showed that Le.cdc5 gene is most actively transcribed in primordia and small immature fruiting bodies of L. edodes, implying that Le.cdc5 may play a role in the beginning and early stage of fruiting-body formation.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2004; 1680(2):93-102. DOI:10.1016/j.bbaexp.2004.08.009 · 4.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

409 Citations
65.38 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2015
    • Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth
      Kioto, Kyōto, Japan
  • 2011
    • Nara Institute of Science and Technology
      • Graduate School of Biological Sciences
      Ikuma, Nara, Japan
  • 2004–2008
    • Tokyo Institute of Technology
      • Department of Life Science
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan